Dwarf Bilberry (Vaccinium caespitosum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Dwarf Bilberry
Vaccinium caespitosum
Ericaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Antiseptic, astringent, carminative, hypoglycaemic[172].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[2, 3, 85, 101]. Sweet[11, 182]. The fruit can be eaten raw, used in pies, preserves etc, or can be dried for later use[257]. A reasonable source of vitamin C[257]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[200].

    A tea is made from the leaves and dried fruits[101].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed[78]. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification[113]. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[200]. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, August in a frame[78]. Slow and difficult. Layering in late summer or early autumn[78]. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer[200]. Takes 18 months[78]. Division of suckers in spring or early autumn[113].
Requires a moist but freely-draining lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould[11, 200]. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[200]. Requires shelter from strong winds[200]. Hardy to about -30¡c[184]. A dense suckering low-growing shrub[182], it spreads rapidly when in a suitable position[200]. Very suitable for growing in the rock garden[11]. This species is closely related to V. deliciosum[11, 182]. Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[200]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Northern and Western N. America – Alaska to California.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.